8 April 2011 at 10:51pm
I really enjoyed encountering the trickster mechanic.
It made me feel as though I was playing the game wrongly. Or that the rules in the beginning were just a primer, and that I should expect to have to break the rules as the game develops and more complexity is introduced.
I hope to encounter many more game-changing mechanics like trickster in Acts II and III.
Before encountering trickster, I would roll two dice for my speed, calculate my total attack speed which was now set in stone, and then pick up and roll those same two dice for my opponent. Page 20 seems to suggest that this is the correct procedure.
After learning about trickster, I pulled out two pairs of different coloured dice and I delayed calculating my total attack speed until after rolling my opponent's speed dice. My new combat sequence looked like:
0.5. Play a potion, and/or non-passive abilities. Play appropriate passive abilities.
1.0. Roll two (beige) dice for my attack speed.
1.5. Play a potion, and/or non-passive abilities.
2.0. Roll two (purple) dice for my opponent's attack speed.
2.5. Play a potion, and/or non-passive abilities.
3.0. Calculate total attack speed for both parties as per rules.
While I enjoyed this added complexity, it made me confused as to what the author's intent was regarding the charm ability.
Before discovering trickster, I thought if you wanted to use charm to alter your attack speed you had to make the choice before knowing what your opponent will roll. (i.e. charm can only be used in step 0.5 or 1.5). After seeing trickster, your total attack speed is no longer set in stone prior to rolling for your opponent's speed, so maybe it is okay to use charm in step 2.5 too (which makes it so very much more powerful).
Here is my full list of charm and combat questions (I've read most of the non-spoiler forum posts and I can't find answers to these. Sorry again for the extensive list of nit-picking questions):
1. Can charm be used in step 2.5?
2. When you have multiple charm effects, and you re-roll an unfavourable die and get an equally bad or worse result, can you use additional charm effects on that same die, or must you "accept the result of the second roll" as per the glossary.
3. I can only use charm to re-roll my (beige) dice, right? I began to doubt this when reading point 10 in the on-line HvH rules (v1.2), which seems to suggest that in PvB (player-vs-book) a played can "influence their opponent's dice using charm."
4. I've used trickster to give my opponent one of my (beige) dice, and take one of his (purple) dice. Can I use charm to re-roll this new (purple) die? Can I use charm to re-roll the die I gave to the opponent?
5. In §233 against tail lash, if I roll a  then use charm and re-roll another , am I affected by tail lash once or twice?
6. Regarding tail lash, it only applies to my (beige) dice, right? i.e. not to my opponent's (purple) dice.
7. It seem's evident that webbed can only be played in step 0.5 or 1.5 … but is using cat's speed restricted to step 0.5, or can it be used in steps 1.5 and 2.5 as well?
8. You've talked about acid and sear in another topic titled "Acid and returning to town" but it is still unclear to me. Do these apply for one round only, or for all remaining rounds for this encounter? (Making it either seriously underpowered, or seriously overpowered in my opinion).
9.When I encountered charged in section §33 I freaked out. I had the bleed ability and I thought that for each 1 damage I bled the elemental, it would charge me back for 2. I resolved this by conjecturing that bleed damage is inflicted by the game state, and not by me, and thus the "each time you inflict health damage" clause does not apply. After the encounter, in section §243, I encountered lightning which is worded differently in terms of "damage score/damage dice". Is charged intended to be functionally equivalent to lightning? If not, is first cut and bleed intended to trigger charged?
10. Can you choose not to apply your passives like first cut and bleed or are they mandatory? If they are optional, is both the initial application of bleed and each subsequent end-of-round application individually optional?
11. If I land a fatal blow on an opponent with charged or lightning but I only have 2 health remaining, does the opponent also kill me?
It may not be obvious from the fact that I have asked so many questions, but I actually like that gamebooks make the reader the final umpire on rule ambiguities. They seem to encourage you to play them the way that you feel brings you the most enjoyment.
None-the-less I am still curious as to what the author's intent was regarding each ambiguity I encounter. Sorry for pestering you with all of the above, part of me thinks I should just be satisfied with my own interpretations and leave you alone to write more of DQ2.